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Agents of change

(image) Francesca Midzi 24 years old from Gweru, Zimbabwe. Fourth year law student.I study because I saw that the majority of women don’t know their rights. I started to study law and I want to specialize in women’s law. I will try to reach out to the others in rural areas. There is a lot of domestic violence here in Zimbabwe and most women don’t know about the law which protects them. This year the domestic violence act came which they should know about. We women are socialised to be submissive and bellow our husband. First of all I hope for a change in government off course. I am now 24 years old and have grown up under the same government! I hope for a change off laws, economic systems and the situation of students. I wish the change will happen soon, but I don’t think it is realistic in at least 5-6 years.

In the future I see myself as a women’s activist, in a new government off course. I will continue the struggle, and I want to make sure everyone is aware of it. It all starts here, in Zimbabwe and at the university, we are agents of change and we can’t be afraid. It is here and by us the change must happen.

(image) Anette Remme, 20 years old.Developement studies at Oslo University College.

“I study development because I want to learn about life and countries outside of the west rich part of the world, and about the relationship between the north and the south. I want to become a journalist, but development is something I am very interested in and want to some day write about. “

“I have during my first year as a student become very engaged in the relations between politics and lifestyle in all corners of the world. My future dream is to get the opportunity to publish big and small stories from around the world, to rise the awareness among people about relations in the world society. I think our common responsibility to change the negative tendencies in the world and the need for cooperation is important in many areas. Therefore my hope is to experience in the future that more people understand the need for interaction across countries and culture!”

(image) Talent Jumo 26 YearsFrom Mshonaland Zimbabwe, studies ”sociology & gender and development” on “Womens university in Africa” in Harare.

“I study sociology and gender because I believe I am a feminist. I want to learn about women’s issues in Africa and beyond, because it gives me a broader perspective. In the classroom I am a challenger, someone who has a voice. I have already studied a year off “training for transformation” and I work for “the community working group on health” coordinating their gender program. Therefore this is some kind off activism for me, I like to question and provoke. This is important, but unfortunately the colleges are still conservative and don’t teach students to be critical. The knowledge that we attain can affect us later, and we should be able to but it into action. Education should work for us...”

“I hope that the future brings hope and that it is characterized by justice. I hope that women will be more recognised as full citizens and won’t be so dependent on their husband. Especially equality in access to recourses is important. And women must get a voice and full charge of their own body. I hope the future will bring less corruption and more women will get into leadership. Because we need new leadership!”

“In the future I see myself as an inspiring leader; I see that as my role. I have a passion for building young leadership and I will continue working with women. I want to grow as an activist, sharpening my skills and work broader beyond Harare and Africa with women internationally. But really the key is that I hope I will remain the person I am and with the commitment I have! So that the women I work with will find be accountable and honest.”(image)

Lovemore Chinoputsa 21 Years From Masvingo, Zimbabwe, studies social work on the University of Zambia. Is also a ZINASU activist (Zimbabwe National Students Union).

"I study social work because I have always been moved by social justice and I want to influence other people’s lives. Specially, I am interested in helping disadvantaged people".

"My hope for the future is that we will have democracy and a new government in Zimbabwe. I am really positive about the future although some has lost hope. What gives me hope is that we, the people, are interested in the future and I believe that the young people will take charge".

"I want to be a community social worker, and really see myself into the development of Zimbabwe on local level".


Lotta Horn 24 years from Germany, Studies ”social work” on the University in Oldenburg. Is currently writing her master-degree on ”peer education about HIV/AIDS” at the university of Port Elizabeth, South Africa."I study social work because I have always liked to work with people. I came to South Africa to do my research on peer education because I especially like to work with kids and youth. I am very interested in HIV/AIDS, but I would also like to work with drama methods in education".

"I don’t see myself changing the world. Social work for me is a profession, not only helping people. Although off course I have ideas about what I want for the future. Something I would like is that we should put more value in people, they are important as resources. Everyone have to make a contribution and act out whatever they do. The main thing is meeting with people, talking and discussing on a daily basis. In general education is very important, but not just the basics."

"I don’t really have a picture of myself in the future, but I have different ideas that might be fulfilled. I hope I’ll just be doing what I like to do because I see a purpose in it. My passion is youth because they have so much potential, the way I see it they are the future".

(image) Bob Munyati, 23 yearsLusaka, studies Demography (major) on University of Zambia.

I study because it is the norm that you are a better person when you study. I choose to study this field because I get to meet people. I want to have epidemology or public health as my major”.

“The future starts with me. I need to develop myself first to be able to contribute at all. Then I can try to give everyone around me in the community a better future”.“My passion is really for rural areas. I want to work two years or so in a rural area first after my studies. That would help me to get work with policy making later. I want to look into peoples needs in regard to education, health, poverty... everything. I want to do this because I’ll be trying to help bring developement looking at different aspects”.

(image) Jamaima Gonzales, 40 yearsJamaima works with child birth and traditional medicine in local communities along the Rio Coco-river in Nicaragua. She is participating in an alfabetization campaign organized by SAIH´s partner AMC.

“I study and learn to read and write so nobody will fool me. I want to learn more about my rights and in the future I want to study to become a school or preschool teacher”.

(image) Kudzai Chikomo, 21 years. Studies creative art and design at Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe. 

He’s pursuing these studies because he has a passion for art, and he thought that if he pursued a course in creative art and design he would enhance the skills that he already has. With the technical knowledge that he acquires at the university he aims to elevate his artistic talent to greater heights.

“In the future I see myself as someone creating opportunities for other youths. Having been through very difficult experiences, I think I’m able to share my knowledge with other youths, and advise them on how they could go through certain problems and empower themselves through using the talents that they have.”

(image) Harmin Kirk, 37 yearsHarmin has no permanent job and is finishing high school through an alphabetization campaign organized by SAIHs partner AMC in the most marginalized area of Nicaragua.

“I had to fight in the war when I was young, so I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. Now I am studying all I can to get a job and take care of my son. The most important aspect of education for me, is that I learn to be familiar with numbers. That way, nobody can fool me in the marketplace anymore”.

(image) Eusebia Gutierrez Flores, 52 yearsEusebia works with child birth and traditional medicine in local communities in the Rio Coco-river in Nicaragua. She is participant in an alfabetization campaign organizaes by SAIH´s partner AMC.

"Not knowing how to read and write, is like being blind. Now I can be in touch with other local communities and deliver in a much better way in my work."

(image) Evernice Munando, 30 years old.She studies carpentry at Belvedere Technical Teacher’s College, and is pursuing an international certificate in wood machinery and manufacturing technologies. She’s also doing supportive subjects like entrepreneurial skills and bookkeeping.She’s studying because at her school, it was advised that students, whether male or female, undertake the subject of woodwork. Others dropped out, but Evernice knew that she must pursue this subject.”When I finish my studies, I want to be an entrepreneur, be self-employed, and have my own company. My fears are that in this field, which is male-dominated, I’ll always be victimized and underrated. If I get a big contract I might face prejudices because I’m a woman, but whoever hires me will be satisfied with my work."

(image) Paul Sichalwe. Foto: Karianne Austnes/SAIH

Paul Sichalwe (Pablo)Paul Sichalwe currently works as communications and information officer at ZARAN (Zambia AIDSLaw Research and Advocacy Network). He took development studies at the University of Zambia.Initially he wanted to study something else, but since he couldn’t qualify for that he went to the counselling department. They advised him to do development studies. He didn’t have the passion for it at first, but slowly he started to appreciate the program. He felt that if he pursued development studies as a career it would be beneficial both to him and Zambian society in general.“Students all over the world are seen to be mouthpieces of the nation. They speak out on issues that are controversial, and it’s through students’ efforts that the government is made to listen. This is the ideal situation. However, while students in the South speak out, their voices are never heard. It would be advantageous to the South if students in the North could add the silent voice of the South to their own, and talk about the challenges that people in the South face. Maybe then possible changes would be registered.”

(image) Jerry Zingwevhu, Zimbabwe. Foto: Kamilla Stølen

Jerry Zingwevhu, 24 years Studies for a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe. (He works as a volunteer for Radio Dialogue, one of SAIH’s partners.)First and foremost he’s studying because he wants to get a good job and be highly paid, but also because he’s very passionate about journalism and information dissemination. He wants to create a situation in the country where each and every individual can access information at any time.”If given the chance, or if I give myself the chance, by working hard, I want to be the minister of information and give a space for private media organizations to function in this country. This thought about the future became so strong in my mind after coming here to Radio Dialogue.”

(image) Kgaugelo Lebea from South Africa. Photo: Karianne Austnes/SAIH. Kgaugelo Lebea, 20 years old
Studies BA Visual studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

She chose this line of studies because she’d like to work in the advertising and media industry. She’s a creative person, and she loves creating things.

“In the future, I see myself as successful. I truly hope that I will be successful, but I can’t really explain that properly right now, because I’m still trying to find my own definition of what success is.”

(image) Rabab Amidane from Western Sahara. Photo: The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

Rabab Amidane, 22 years old From Western Sahara, studies English at Cady Ayyad University in Marrakech, Morocco.Studies English because this language is spoken in most parts of the world. Aided by her knowledge of English she hopes to make the situation for the Sahrawi in Western Sahara known to as many people as possible.“Seeing as there is an independence intifada in Western Sahara, I believe that we [the Sahrawi people] will get our independence in the end, and that Morocco will leave the country. I hope to be an important person who talks about the situation in Western Sahara and helps people get their independence, but I think I might become either a prisoner or a martyr.”

(image) Dimakatso Pelesa from South Africa. Photo: kamilla Stølen/SAIH.

Dimakatso Pelesa, 22 years oldStudies psychology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.She chose to study psychology because she was interested in how children grow, and what goes on in their mind - how the mind impacts their growth.“If I have children, what will happen then? Will they take a step where I stop? Will they continue trying to make a better tomorrow for everyone, or will they stop where I stop? Or will they even go back to something we were trying to leave behind?”

(image) Sindre Olav Edland from Norway. Photo: Marte Graff Jenssen/SAIH.

Sindre Olav Edland, 26 years oldRecently finished his Master in religious education at MF Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo. Mainsubject: sociology of religion.

“I am a curious person and religion is a theme that has always fascinated me. Religion is of great importance to a lot of people, and also as a force in society, in politics and in conflicts. My dream for the future is a more just world, without unfair structures: A world where people can develop themselves and live a worthy life on their own terms.”

(image) Chada Kgosi from Botswana. Photo: Karianne Austnes/SAIH

Chada Kgosi, 22 years old Studies psychology at the University of Pretoria.For as long as she can remember, Chada wanted to study psychology. She wants to concentrate on the mind, because she believes that many illnesses have their origin in the mind.“The future of Africa looks pretty good. We are moving away from things that used to keep us from moving on. We young people are adopting things that work for us, and we’re leaving things that didn’t work before. So I think the future looks good as far as young people are concerned.”

(image) Elastus Mambwe from Zambia. Photo: SAIH

Elastus Mambwe, 21 years old Studies mass communications and development at the University of Zambia, works as a journalist in UNZA Radio.Elastus is studying mass communications because he thinks that the media has a role to play in development. Through his combination of courses he’d like to use the media as a way of trying to bring out issues of development.“Students can act as agents of change in many ways, for instance by advocating for policies in local councils, but they have to be given the capacity to do so. Now it seems that students would rather work hard at school than involving themselves in activities outside the institution, but if they are given the right environment and the capacity to work with communities outside of the university, I think they can be agents of social change.”

(image) Naw Khin San Htwe from Burma. Photo: Marte Graff Jenssen/SAIH.

Naw Khin San Htwe, 20 years old Studies at a training program in Thailand for Burmese activistsKhin San Htwe is studying because she wants to learn about democracy and human rights. She works for a Burmese women’s organization in exile in Thailand, and through the advocacy skills she acquires from her studies she hopes to draw international attention to the situation in Burma, and get support for the Burmese people.”In the future I’d like to see a peaceful and democratic Burma, where there is respect for human rights, law and dignity, and where everyone gets to enjoy their lives.”

(image) Sigrun Espe from Norway. Photo: SAIH.

Sigrun Espe, 26 years old Studies social anthropology at University of Bergen, Norway"I have always been interested in understanding things which can seem incomprehensible concerning different people and cultures around the world, and that is why I have known since high school that social anthropology would be the right subject for me. I hope that what I have learnt at University, and other experiences from my years as a student, will be useful to me and help me make a difference in the world. My dream is to be able to work with bilingual education and indigenous peoples, the central topics in my master's thesis."

(image) Chisola Samakai from Zambia. Photo: SAIH. Chisola Samakai, 25 years old Studies law at the University of Zambia.

Chisola is studying law because it has been a passion of hers since childhood. She believes that there will be more female lawyers in Zambia in the near future, and that it will be easier for women to take courses that traditionally have been male dominated.

”Students can be agents of change because it is from education that development stems. The more knowledge students have, the more they will be able to develop their communities and empower other people that do not have access to education.”

(image) Trust Mutawe from Zimbabwe. Photo: Kamilla Stølen/SAIH. Trust Mutowe, 27 years old
Studies law at University of Zimbabwe.

”I want to dwell on the issue of human rights. I’ve seen a lot of victimization within the student movement, and I was victimized in 2003 simply for trying to express my inalienable right of participating in how I’m supposed to be governed as an individual. Other comrades and I believe that we are the voice of the voiceless.”

(image) Zanele Mthethwa from Zimbabwe. Photo: kamilla Stølen/SAIH.

Zanele Mthethwa, 21 years old Studies journalism and media at National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. She studies because she is interested in learning more about how the situation surrounding her and because she likes meeting new people. She wants to work with people in rural areas because she believes that they often are excluded from the society and lack the information and possibilities to express themselves in public.”Amazingly, I’ve never thought of leaving the country. I want to be here whenever things are gonna be okay, of which I’m very positive. I want to be there when the change is happening.”

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